A bomb ripped through a crowd of Sunni worshippers coming out of a mosque in northern Iraq after prayers at the start of a Eid holiday on Tuesday, killing 12 people and wounding 24, a police official said.

The attack took place in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, said Police Col. Taha Salaheddin. The bomb went off as worshippers were leaving the al-Qodus mosque after morning prayers for the beginning of the Eid al-Adha.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The police sealed off the area around the mosque.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Iraq since al-Qaeda and other militants stepped up attacks following a deadly security crackdown against a Sunni protest camp in April.

The latest attack came despite tight security measures imposed by security forces to prevent attacks during the four-day Eid al-Adha celebrations.

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